Energy Giant Total likely to explore new blocks

French energy giant Total would consider developing new offshore blocks as economic reform continues to take hold in the country, an executive from the firm said.

Total is currently awaiting the results for its bid for off-shore blocks submitted in two proposals that would see exploration of deep-water blocks.

The results for the widely anticipated tender for 30 blocks, which includes several international firms, are expected early next year.

“Since 2011, Myanmar has turned a new page. We believe that these profound changes are essential for both the people and the economy of this country, Christophe de Margerie chief executive officer and chairman of Total, told The Myanmar Times during his visit to Yangon on December 6.

“Before, we were the only large foreign company represented here. I regard the competition we now face here as good news,” he said, adding that his firm has been active in Myanmar since 1993.

With economic sanctions now lifted, Myanmar has the opportunity to increase its exploration capacity, he said. The country will need to apply new scientific and technological tools to make up for lost time.

“The challenge will be to bring energy to the country for its economic development. This requires huge investment. A good balance between production for local increasing needs and exports has to be reached, maximising revenue to the state. Local companies will play a significant part,” he continued.

Mr de Margerie also urged the government to continue the reform process and to develop better transparency in the energy sector, applauding Myanmar’s application to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which would do just that.

On top of developing off-shore blocks, Total is also looking into lubricants and solar production in Myanmar, though Mr de Margerie said it is too early to say what the scale of such an investment would be or when it could happen.

“That should be part of the second wave of investment from Total. We would like to deliver the message that we will continue in the country with potential for development of new activities,” he said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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